Gotv Final Preview: Leopards, Sharks in delicate final

Gotv Final Preview: Leopards, Sharks in delicate final

19 Oct, 17:00
2013 GoTV Shield champions AFC Leopards have Kariobangi Sharks lying between them and first major trophy in four years.
In 2013, Ingwe then under James Nandwa rode a Peter Opiyo well-taken strike to silence Gor Mahia by a solitary goal for the Shield Cup gong.
Sharks , Ingwe season exploits
Fast forward to 2017, Leopards meet KPL newbies Kariobangi Sharks this Friday 20 October with much at stake!
In yet another season that Ingwe exuded much optimism before start of the season, the Big Cats gone short of living to up the bill and are faced with a decisive Cup to perhaps salvage their season.

In what should add more motivation to the two finalists: a slot in the continental games at top of the year, is be up for grabs.

But who stands where heading in to Friday finale at Moi Kasarani?

Sharks maiden league run has been that a silent yet enduring force from determine youngsters and an equally youthful coach in William Muluya.
Under the coach's guidance, Sharks is best performing team in the past two editions of the competitions.
The team made it to semis but failed to reach the final in last edition.
 The coach is however not  staying on the past ahead of cup tie.
Hopeful and Prepared

-Our focus is onevery match we play. We have important games in past week and had been prompted to rotate our squad to allow other player to have ago and get needed rest. God has prepared something for us and i think its in the offing. We are ready to give our best and expect that the players will perform in a way that befits the occasion, the coach told futaa.

 Muluya has opted for an economical approach opting to rest his big guns for the important clash.  

It all points to all full-strength side turning out for the all or nothing final.

Ingwe scene

As far as on-pitch fortunes goes, AFC Leopards season has seemingly turned a corner and Ingwe will be fancying to complete the turn with maiden silverware its fans so desperately need. 

In his post-match to Ulinzi Stars clash,  Robert Matano had a call for more improvement as his main talking point even as Ingwe got a historic win over the Soldiers.

Incidentally, Similar talk hogged opinions from Ingwe fans opinions after their labouring win over Vihiga in the GoTV shield semis.

Call for Improvement

-The boys have to keep extra work going on. We have to push further up as a team and its down to the players. Every coming game is tough and we need to keep up with the competition, coach stated. 

As Leopards should hardly expect an easy conquest.  Granted, Sharks has been on relapse after a promising start to the league.

However, they enjoy a better head to head record heading to the finale clash.

The 2017 final will be a fourth meeting between the pair.

Past meetings

The first meeting saw Masud Juma double inspired Shark to a 3-1 pre-season win in same venue Friday clash will be staged.
Sharks carried on and stunned Ingwe 2-0 in KPL first leg before the pair played to a stalemate in return leg tie.
Ingwe is however on an upturn of form heading to the Friday finale. 
Under Robert Matano its league run and a jinx-breaking 1-0 win over Ulinzi saw them warm up to a finale on winning note.
Sharks have braved some beating recently and a defeat to Ingwe will surely blackened a rather decent debut KPL campaign . Five unbeaten games in the league culminated to a 3-1 midweek thrashing run by Gor Mahia.

Through the tepid streak, their ability to attack back has stood out.  Twice they have clawed a point from after allowing in two goal

Delicate final

Individual or the lack of it aside, it  promises to be a delicate balanced finale and perhaps one to be decided on either finer margins, a rare mistake or a moment of brilliance as final have always turned to end.

 For Sharks its whether they drop their new struggle of conceding and trying to fight back from a losing position.

Similarly,  Ingwe have their own fair share of concern and will be seeking solutions to their tendency to concede first.

Confederations Cup

Whoever address their problems successfully or perhaps gets an early goal should have less problems seeing the tie out.

Or else, the lottery of penalties will as well decide who represents Kenya in the 2018 Confederations Cup. 

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